Blogs



As many of you know by now Professional Builder is holding three days of plan reviews by some of the top designers and architects in the country during the International Builders Show. I am honored to be part of that group and very much look forward to the event.

With the February edition of Professional Builder, I begin a series on the evolution of quality management. Here is a more detailed version of an excerpt from that article to come. Be sure to read that.

Trade partners have used the National Housing Quality Award over the years as an application process to gain independent feedback on how they can improve their bottom-line and the criteria as a way to evaluate their own processes.

Remodeler winners of the National Housing Quality Award over the years cite a range of best practices that helped them to achieve this level of excellence. This includes the following as just a few.

Many people today still see quality as being about 'incremental improvement' rather than innovation and fast dynamic change and particularly those focusing on six sigma tend to see it as being about 'defect reduction/elimination' only.

In the past year, during our LeanPlan Workout process, we had the dubious honor of “working on” plans from 3 of the biggest name, most expensive architectural firms in the country (among others.)

One of the benefits of working with builders and customers all over the country is that I get a real grasp of what is happening with design trends. For the longest time it seemed everyone wanted a second floor Laundry Room.

This short video wonderfully highlights key quality issues that impact the Cost of Quality and avoid risk. It is ideal for introducing quality, risk management or for opening a discussion, presentation or training on quality.

Happy New Year! IBS 2012 is going to be great. Unlike recent years past there is a distinct feeling of optimism going into this event. A lot of builders are looking at this year as an opportunity for growth. If you haven't already considered using Lean as a platform for this growth - do.

 

Perhaps you heard the story in December about the truck driver that won a Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 worth over $200,000. A few hours after getting the car he crashed it!

Netflix loses 60% of its market and RIM (Blackberry) also loses over 50% of its market, not a great year for what had been some of the strongest companies. They certainly never planned for such an impact at the start of 2011. What happened, well the customer spoke!

I love the easy ones! Scott Sedam and I were implementing a Lean Plan Workout recently and a very simple cost saving opportunity presented itself. Eliminate the tire stop in the garage.

Last weekend was the annual Christmas sojourn to my wife’s relatives in Chicago.

Learning from the past and planning for the future. As we move toward 2012 we have a wonderful opportunity to evaluate what happened this past year, where we were successful and how and where did we fail. Both provide lessons for our 2012 planning.

December is often the time of year that many home building companies finalize their 2012 goals and budgets.   Management meticulously reviews past sales performances, hard costs, personnel budgets, etc., and set both goals and budgets for 2012.   Once each line item is discussed and approved, the

Designing a new elevation series is a lot of fun. It is an opportunity to define your brand and create homes that will speak to buyers emotionally. Here are three things to look out for when your elevations are in the sketch phase:

One of the requirements in Lean Operations is harnessing the “Voice of the Process.” Your processes can teach you so much and hence save you a lot of cash … IF you know how to get them to talk to you. How do you do that?

So apparently there is something Republicans and Democrats can agree on: the housing industry is an easy target.

A new study (by Yahoo Real Estate, Dec 9th 2011) finds that the American Dream is still to own a home and the top issue for that dream is that it is a green, energy-efficient home built with sustainable materials that yield a lower carbon footprint or if it is remodeling a home, that i

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